Grant helps with childcare service training
An Esperance childcare service can now afford to send its staff on professional development courses after securing a $12,000 grant from the State Government.
Escare Inc. was yesterday announced as one of 19 organisations to share in grants totalling $238,000 under the Regional Community Child Care Development Fund.
The money will go towards training staff to meet the National Quality Framework, a challenge for regional services with limited funding.
Escare offers after-school and vacation childcare services and serves as a creche during the working week. It can cater for up to 30 children at any given time and has about 90 families enrolled.
Service manager Joanne Aberle said there were still areas of the NQF Escare needed to improve and the grant would allow the organisation to meet those standards.
“We charge fees but the fees here basically just cover the costs of wages and running the centre,” she said.
“It’s quite difficult to get that PD (professional development) happening and there’s national quality standards for childcare, so there’s still a few areas that we need to improve on.
“We’ll get that PD and we’ll get those policies embedded into our practice — this is all about getting the practice into policy and having it really entrenched into our service delivery.”
Community Services Minister Tony Simpson acknowledged the difficulty regional childcare services faced because of their isolation and said the grants would help address those challenges.
“Educators in regional WA face unique challenges in providing services as a result of distance, isolation, reliance on volunteers or lack of funds,” he said. “It is vital that people in the regions have access to quality childcare services.”
Bradley Whiley and Chase Coulter are some of Escare’s clients who will benefit from the grant.